Accommodating prison population growth
While logic might dictate that this should be the case, we could not confirm this, as the data on which the claim was based isn’t publicly available.Even so, the same Auditor-General’s report cautioned against comparing the costs of private prisons with system-wide averages and public prisons, arguing operating costs of individual prisons are influenced by their location, age, size, physical layout, security classification, prisoner profile, and their role or function within the overall corrections system.By implementing these policies, the state will avert a minimum of .1 million in corrections costs by 2022 and will be able to reinvest those savings in strategies that can reduce recidivism and increase public safety.The state appropriated million under SB 2015 to improve the quality of community-based behavioral health services for people in the criminal justice system and 0,000 to increase the number of treatment providers that can serve this population.Victoria has gone from having one of the lowest rates of incarceration in the world, with 50 prisoners per 100,000 population in 1992 (lower than Sweden and Denmark, and just higher than the Netherlands), to 147 prisoners per 100,000 population in 2018 (comparable to Zambia, Algeria and Jamaica).Accountability of the prison system has also been hampered by the refusal of successive governments to appoint an independent inspector general of prisons, similar to the role HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in the UK and the Inspector of Custodial Sentences in Western Australia.In the Auditor-General’s own words, “these differences make it difficult to compare costs on a ‘level playing field’”.
Unfortunately, a comprehensive assessment of how the system has performed is not possible, as the data for nearly all proxies we examined were incomplete.
On April 21, 2017, Governor Doug Burgum signed Senate Bill 2015 and House Bill 1041, which will curb prison population growth by reducing the number of people in prison who have committed lower-level felony offenses and who have violated the conditions of their supervision by placing them on probation and limiting length of stay, respectively.
As a result, prison space will be prioritized for people who are convicted of serious and violent offenses, and supervision resources will be focused on people who are most likely to reoffend.
Real net operating expenditure per prisoner per day in Victoria in 2017-18 was 4, compared to 2 in New South Wales and an average 3 for all Australian states and territories.
It’s even been claimed that Victoria has the fourth-most expensive prison system in the OECD. A recent report by the Victorian Auditor-General into two of the privately managed prisons claimed that private prisons were up to 20 per cent cheaper to run than publicly managed ones.